Eleven members of the Senate Armed Services Committee released a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Committee, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in anticipation of the hearings on the New START Treaty. The senators are calling for a broader spectrum of witnesses, beyond the administration officials that the Obama Administration has put forward so far, in order to fully address the wide array of questions that arise from the treaty. The potential witnesses requested in the letter include:

  • Admiral Richard Mies (retired) – Admiral Mies was a former commander in chief of United States Strategic Command. During his time in the Navy he served on two nuclear attack submarines and a ballistic missile submarine.
  • Dr. Keith Payne – Dr. Payne served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Forces and Policy. In this position he negotiated with the Russian Federation on Ballistic Missile Defenses. He was also a member of the 1998 “Rumsfeld Study” on missile proliferation.
  • Mr. Stephen Rademaker – Mr. Rademaker is a former Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Arms Control where he directed non-proliferation policy toward Iran and North Korea as well as the Proliferation Security Initiative.
  • Ambassador David Smith – Ambassador Smith led the U.S.-Soviet Defense and Space Talks in 1989 and subsequently led U.S. negotiations with the Soviet Union on the deployment of defenses against ballistic missiles through its collapse in 1991.
  • Dr. William Van Cleave – Dr. Van Cleave is a former advisor to both the Department of State and Defense on a number of issues including nuclear weapons strategy and missile defense.
  • Ambassador James Woolsey – Ambassador Woolsey is a former Director of the CIA and can provide invaluable insight as former Delegate at Large to the U.S.-Soviet Strategic Arms Limitation Talks as well as the Nuclear and Space Arms Talks.

As is evidenced from this list, any combination of these experts could provide excellent testimony regarding the impact of the New START Treaty. It is incumbent upon Chairman Levin and Ranking Member McCain to ensure that witnesses are drawn from a pool that goes beyond the Obama Administration’s hand picked officials.

Ricky Trotman is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm